UPDATE, 1:50 PM: The final scores on the court last night saw ex-champs the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets win the doubleheader games of the NBA season opener but now we have the other score, so to speak.
Winning the night on cable for TNT, the Cavs’ victory over the Boston Celtics and the Rockets triumph over current champs the Golden State Warriors snagged an average of 4.9 million viewers. Or to put in the true dunk context, that’s a whooping 53% over the 3.2 million that the 2016 season doubleheader opener of October 25 last year delivered.
On a night that saw sister station TBS with the most watched single show of the night with the 6 million tuning in for the L.A. Dodgers’ NLCS Game 3 win over the Chicago Cubs, Tuesday’s NBA opener hit a near record.
LeBron James and the Cavs’ 102-99 battle against the Celtics pulled in 5.6 million sets of eyeballs. That’s up a massive 95% leap from the 2.9 million total audience of last year’s opening game that saw the Ohio team take on the NY Knicks. It is also the second most watched NBA opening game ever on TNT and the fifth most watched game the outlet has ever had.
Not hitting those heights, the Rockets win over the Warriors still was up double digits itself with an average of 4.2 million watching the second game of the night. That’s a 22% lift over last year’s Warriors vs. Spurs game.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:21 AM: The opening of the NBA season on Tuesday was a good night for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets and it was a very good night for TNT – and TBS and MLB as the Los Angeles Dodgers look poised for a World Series perch.
In meter market results, the doubleheader start of the 2017-2018 b-ball season delivered a 3.5 rating for the Turner cabler. Not only did that LeBron James and Cavs 102-99 win over the Boston Celtics and the Rockets’ dramatic 122-121 victory over current champs the Golden State Warriors rise 46% over last year’s October 25 opener but it was clear win over all of cable.
Breaking things down to the individual games, things prove an even more dramatic ratings dunk with double digits rises in both cases. For the first game in the Ohio city, which started with Cavs players linking arms in protest and solidarity during the national anthem, there was an 82% uptick from last year’s New York Knicks vs. the then NBA champs season opener. Last night’s Cavs vs. Celtics court battle drew a 4.0 MM rating with a peak of a 4.8 in the 10:15 – 10:30 PM ET slot.
This was of course all happening as over on that other Turner outlet TBS the L.A. Dodgers continued their unbeaten National League Championship Series streak to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 in Game 3 last night in the City of Angels. Up 26% in MM ratings over 2016’s Game 3 with 4.3 result, last night’s MLB game was the highest rated single program on all of cable – as tonight’s potentially Cubs eliminating Game 4 could be. And, for you locals, the 14.4 MM rating that Game 3 hit in L.A. last night was the best any Dodgers game has done on any net since such records started being tabulated in 1998.
Flipping back to b-ball, like last year’s opener, Steph Curry and the Warriors were not victorious but the game itself was – at least for the NBA and TNT. With a 3.1 metered market result, the second game of last night’s opening doubleheader was up 24% over the Bay Area team’s match-up with the San Antonio Spurs on October 25, 2016 where the Texas team won 129-100. The Warriors vs. Rockets game hit its own high with a 4.4 rating in the 10:30 – 10:45 PM ET slot as the championship trophy ceremony was being conducted on-air.
The 2016 opening doubleheader went on to deliver 3.2 million viewers for TNT, a 10% increase over the 2015 opener. We’ll update with more results from this year’s opener later as we get them.